United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has presented the sum of N1 billion to the Lagos State Government as part of the bank’s commitment to help curb the effect of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This is also in fulfillment of its N5 billion commitment made by the UBA Group Chairman, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu, last week.
Whilst presenting the cheque to the Lagos State Governor at the Government House in Marina, UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, said that as a socially responsible institution, UBA cares for its communities and for Lagos State which has recorded the highest number of positive cases thus far, needing special attention.
He disclosed that the decision to give Lagos N1bn was as a result of the important role that the state plays in the economy of not only Nigeria, but Africa as a whole, given its vast population and other key economic factors.
Uzoka said to Mr. Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, “Given the population of this state and that it is the business nerve centre, we at UBA are committed to lending our support to the state government. So today, we are giving you and the state N1bn (one billion naira) to support your endeavour in fighting the Coronavirus disease.
Continuing, he said, “I will not fail to mention that this wasn’t an easy decision for us because Lagos is just one of the many states in Nigeria. However, we looked at the importance of Lagos to Nigeria, but more importantly, we looked at the fact that Lagos has set up the right structure to administer whatever it is that we are giving to the state. So, we are rest assured, because we believe without an iota of doubt that the state will use these funds effectively and efficiently,” Uzoka explained.
Receiving the cheque, Mr. Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, appreciated the support of the bank, which according to him will go a long way to assist the state in kicking out the worrisome pandemic. He said, “We appreciate UBA. This is not the kind of money that we would want to take for granted. This is really an important intervention and this fund will go a long way to meet all of our needs both now and in the future, to ensure that Lagos continues to remain safe for business.
Continuing, the Governor said, “And so, we are indeed happy that you decided to make this very bold move to support the health facility infrastructure in Lagos. You can be rest assured that once the structures have been developed, we will call you again to see what we have put these resources to.”
On Thursday, UBA announced a donation of over 5 billion Naira (USD14 million), through the UBA Foundation, to catalyse a comprehensive pan-African response to the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic.
The donation is expected to provide significant and much needed support to Nigeria and 19 other African countries, by supplying relief materials, critical care facilities, and financial support to Governments. The bank has begun to roll out its support programme, having already disbursed the pledged amounts to many states within Nigeria and 7 countries in Africa including Ghana, Guinea, Cameroun, Tanzania, Tchad, Liberia, Republic of Benin. The N5 billion donation by the bank is being distributed as follows:
- N1 billion (USD2.8 million) to Lagos State Government in Nigeria
- N500 million (USD1.4 million) to Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, Abuja
- N1 billion (USD2.8 million) to the remaining 35 states in Nigeria
- N1.5 billion (USD4.2 million) to UBA’s presence countries in Africa
- N1 billion (USD2.8 million) for Medical Centres with equipment and supplies
- Free Telemedicine call centre facility.
Operating in 20 African countries and globally in the United Kingdom, the United States and France, the United Bank for Africa has a strong record of supporting its communities, through challenging times.
FG lists approved COVID-19 test centres for international travellers, to sanction airlines over non-compliance
The NCAA also warned airlines to desist from flouting COVID-19 protocols.
The Federal Government has listed the approved COVID-19 test centres for international travellers. This was disclosed by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) via its Twitter handle on Monday.
According to the agency, some of the 68 centres are: EHA Clinics, The 54gene COVID-19 mobile laboratory, Medicaid Radio-diagnostics Centre, FCT Abuja; SynLab Ikeja, VI, Lekki; 54Gene Lekki, Medbury Medical Services, Imeja & Lekki; Clina Lancet, Maryland, and Biologix Medical Services, Anthony, Lagos, among others.
— Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (@FAAN_Official) September 21, 2020
Also, the FG through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has threatened to revoke the licenses of domestic airline operators over non-compliance with the COVID-19 protocols.
Director-General, NCAA, Mr Musa Nuhu, issued the warning in a letter to all operators (DG39/20), with reference NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/267 on Monday.
Nuhu said the warning was made necessary because some domestic airlines had been flouting the protocols.
According to him, the continuous non-compliance with the COVID-19 protocols would attract severe penalties up to and including cancellation of approval to resume domestic operations.
He said: “It has been brought to the notice of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority that some domestic airline operators have not been complying with the COVID-19 protocols.
“These protocols were released through All Operators Letter (AOL) DG035/20 ref. NCAA/DG/AIR/ 11/16/260, dated Sept. 4 and an Advisory Circular (AC) NCAA-AC-AMS-006, also dated Sept. 4.
“Approval for resumption of domestic operations are predicated on compliance with the above protocols.”
Nuhu added that this was a warning to all domestic operators who were not in compliance to desist from such acts immediately.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 21st of September 2020, 195 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 57,437 confirmed cases.
On the 21st of September 2020, 195 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 1,162 samples across the country.
To date, 57,437 cases have been confirmed, 48,674 cases have been discharged and 1,100 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 480,874 tests have been carried out as of September 21st, 2020 compared to 479,712 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 21st September 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 57,437
- Total Number Discharged – 48,674
- Total Deaths – 1,100
- Total Tests Carried out – 480,874
According to the NCDC, the 195 new cases were reported from 11 states- Enugu (51), Gombe (40), Lagos (39), Plateau (23), FCT (15), Rivers (12), Kaduna (8), Ondo (3), Bauchi (2), Edo (1), Ogun (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 18,982, followed by Abuja (5,566), Oyo (3,254), Plateau (3,231), Edo (2,612), Kaduna (2,356), Rivers (2,255), Delta (1,799), Ogun (1,767), Kano (1,734), Ondo (1,600), Enugu (1,285), Ebonyi (1,038), Kwara (1,025), Abia (881), Katsina (848), Gombe (839), Osun (817), Borno (741), and Bauchi (691).
Imo State has recorded 562 cases, Benue (473), Nasarawa (448), Bayelsa (394), Jigawa (322), Ekiti (317), Akwa Ibom (288), Niger (254), Adamawa (234), Anambra (232), Sokoto (161), Taraba (95), Kebbi (93), Cross River (85), Zamfara (78), Yobe (75), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
AfCFTA: Nigeria securing approval to ratify agreement – Trade Minister
The Minister revealed that Nigeria has set up a National Action Committee on AfCFTA.
Minister of Trade, Niyi Adebayo said Nigeria is currently in the process of securing approval to ratify the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement soon.
The Minister disclosed this during a meeting with the Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area(AfCFTA), Mene Wamkele on Monday.
During the meeting, the Honourable Minister informed him that Nigeria has established … pic.twitter.com/vSDnNqcfmE
— FMITI Nigeria (@TradeInvestNG) September 21, 2020
Recall that Nairametrics reported last week Mr. Adebayo said that Nigeria is actively working to attract more foreign direct investments into key industries to meet the demands of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
“As we gear up to meet the demands of the enlarged continental market which will be fostered by AfCFTA, we are actively working to attract more foreign direct investments into key industries,” the Minister said.
In today’s meeting, The Minister told the delegation that Nigeria has set up a National Action Committee on AfCFTA, which would implement Nigeria’s roll-out strategy in a bid to take advantage of the agreement. He added, “Nigeria is currently in the process of securing approval to ratify the agreement within the shortest possible time”.
The African Union announced in August that the first commercial deal of AfCFTA will be taking off on January 1, 2021.